Photo provided by Trinity Athletics
Sean Etheredge is in his seventh season as head men’s golf coach. Etheredge is also the director of instruction at The Quarry Golf Club and a Class A Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Professional, as he spends time teaching the sport he loves in a variety of settings. Etheredge’s team had just started their spring season when the COVID-19 pandemic sent his team home early. Etheredge talked about how his team found out their season was being cut short as well as how he adjusts his coaching depending on the player in this year’s final edition of Coach’s Corner.
These answers were provided via email.
What has kept you in San Antonio, from going to high school at Alamo Heights through college at UTSA and now into your career as a coach at Trinity?
I’ve just always loved SA. My family lives here, and so I have lots of great memories of growing up around the area and watching it develop and change over the years. It helps that there is plenty of golf and BBQ around here, too.
How is coaching at a university different from coaching at private golf clubs as you still currently do?
I do enjoy the contrast of teaching different players at different levels. It’s always golf, but it can be so very different based on where you are meeting the player in the life of their development. Golf can be a bridge to so many things, that I get the chance to meet a wonderful blend of players. It could be in one day that I work with business people preparing for a company outing, young kids looking to make their school team, parents looking to keep up with their kids or a player looking to win a championship. I found out very early on in my time at Trinity that I really did enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere of college golf the most, as the team environment was essential to winning.
What was your first time out on a golf course like?
Frustrating at times, highlighted with moments of glory, but it’s like that for most golfers, right? 🙂 I had some success early on in other sports, so the puzzle of golf for me became why it didn’t come as easy as anything I had done previously. There were layers of the game to be learned; it wasn’t just skill or effort.
How did you find out the spring golf season was canceled due to COVID-19, and what was your reaction?
We had just returned back from our second event of the spring season, and we were really playing well. I got a phone call from Coach Spenkoch letting me know that they had just canceled their next event and that we were likely shutting it down sometime within the next week. Once we learned that students were going to return home, we knew the season would be canceled soon after.
What was your message to the two seniors on your team as the news of the season’s end settled in?
We were all just devastated because we really felt like we had a tremendous team and everything had been building towards the end of our spring season. Luckily for our seniors, they were already in a five-year program here at TU, so they’ll get to come back and play next year.
How do you feel about The Masters Tournament being postponed until November?
As much as it pains me to miss it in April, it is the right call. It’s just smart to keep everyone safe. The Masters will return when it’s right to do so.
How would you feel about professional golf returning on the condition that no fans can attend tournaments?
That would be an interesting scenario for sure. So much of golf at the professional level is built around sponsorships and media rights all of which generate revenue and purse money; I don’t know if they could operate it like that, but I guess you never know.
If you could play a round of golf against any current professional golfer, who would you choose to face and why?
Oh Tiger Woods for sure. I just want a front-row seat for 18 holes of that!
What three people, past or present, would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus
What would you eat at this dinner?
Anything that would get them to join me for dinner 🙂
If you were stranded on an island with one person, who would you choose to be with and why?
My wife, Suzanne … anyone else would probably try and find a way off the island!
If you could tell the world one thing about yourself, what would you say?
“And if you play golf, you’re my friend.” — Harvey Penick